As a silent partner/founder of The Watchtower Podcast, the first year of development on this site was slow and painful. While Co-Hosts Jeff Moss and Donnie Coulter were producing top-quality work from week to week, the site lagged behind the level of performance these two managed to put out every week.
What Moss wanted from the site seemed, to me, to be something pretty unique at the time. He was lookng for something that would feature the podcast for the week that it was up, but still allow them to generate news content on a daily basis. I could find very few examples of this in other blog or podcast sites at the time, until I realized I was already using it with No Reason Comics. The plugin/theme that allowed us to create a webcomic and feature it, while still blogging, had just added this feature. Using Tyler Martin’s Comicpress Theme as a model, i figured out how to make it work for the podcast.
After that, the design came pretty simply. Using the logo as a model (dark, but shiny), The site took shape around the simple idea of what the podcast was about – comics. The first iterations were trying to play off the namesake – the Justice Leagues Watchtower. Instead, I went with a style that paid homage to the origins of comics with the halftone patterns, and then created a pretty unique menagerie of images that hinted and showcased some of the favorite characters of the hosts. On an irregular basis, I add a few more of these to the site when I can.
The Watchtower Podcast site marks a pretty hefty achievement in the realm of WordPress themes. This was one of the first sites I realize the customizable power of CSS. The two features of this site that I’m really proud of was the implementation of the custom look for the podcasts versus the rest of the news oriented content that is generated on the site. The other feature that I’m really proud of is the rotating background. Using some inspiration from Matt Mullenberg, I managed to customize a piece of php script that dynamically and randomly loaded images into a css stylesheet. Now, any of the featured images I created could come up whenever a page is loaded on the site.